In this day and age of the video games industry, downloadable content seems to be a very controversial topic. Whether the DLC is pointless or the developers are trying to squeeze as much money out of the players as they can, it often gets a bad rap. However, those problems are for another article. What I want to talk about now is a game that I think does DLC right. Rocket League. Rocket League is one of 2015’s biggest gaming hits and is popular to this day. The high-flying action of hitting a soccer ball with fast cars is exhilarating and provides hours of endless fun. To top it off, it has only a $20 price tag compared to $60 AAA games. Like many games, Rocket League also comes with its collection of DLC. What is great about it is that the DLC pertains directly to the game’s theme, is inexpensive, and is not required to fully enjoy the game.
Rocket League at its core is about cars and soccer. With that theme, what kind of DLC makes sense? Other cars and more sports! That is exactly the kind of DLC Rocket League offers. I especially love that they have Hot Wheels cars in the game. It’s a very smart partnership on both ends, that makes sense in the grand scheme of things. They also have added hockey and other sport game modes, with some other maps that really make the game interesting. It all culminates to the fact that this DLC doesn’t feel like it’s out of place. It makes total sense for what the game is themed around.
With many high priced games out there, their DLC can also be expensive. Many map packs and add-ons are $20, often times not being worth the price. Rocket League’s DLC is all cheap, with the most expensive oddly enough being the soundtrack at $6. This is great for two reasons. One is that compared to the price of the original game ($20), the margins make sense. No one is going to pay 20 more dollars for a $20 game. The prices of the DLC are marked well compared to the game itself. It’s also great that because it’s so cheap, it’s a much easier and less stressful decision for buyers. Rather than contemplating sinking a few dozen dollars into DLC, it’s only a few bucks each. If you end up not liking it or stop playing the game, it’s no biggy. I am however a little on the fence that some of the DLC is only an extra car design, but that leads me into my next point.
DLC and Addons originally had one meaning. Extra content built on top of the base game. Now, a lot of games are taking advantage of the model, going so far as to add DLC to incomplete or early access games. Rocket League, fortunately, is a complete game on its own. DLC is not required in any way. Most of the DLC is cosmetic items anyway, like different car bodies, wheels, and decals. Although I personally wouldn’t spend much money on purely cosmetic items. I’m very happy that the DLC isn’t required to experience the full game.
DLC is a business model that at its start worked very well and helped developers raise adequate money to continue development. Now, several companies have abused the system, tarnishing DLC as a whole. Companies like Psyonix, the creators of Rocket League are the ones keeping DLC alive and should be respected for it.